Social worker Julian Swan ‘scapegoat in teen sex case’

A social worker who is said to have missed opportunities to prevent a teenager sexually abusing two children says he has been made a scapegoat.

A 19-year-old was placed by social services with a foster family who were not told about his previous inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Former Vale of Glamorgan council employee Julian Swan denies allegations of misconduct.

The Care Council for Wales hearing in Cardiff will continue on Thursday.

The case goes back to 2008 when a teenager who was about to leave the care system was placed with a foster family.

Unknown to them he posed a serious risk to young children and he went on to seriously sexually abuse their two young children.

He was later jailed and the Vale of Glamorgan Council has unreservedly apologised to the family.

The hearing is to establish whether the teenager’s social worker was guilt of misconduct, which he denies.

One of the main issues examined during the hearing was whether it was his job to look at the past history of the files or whether, as he assumed, he could take the word of his colleagues who were passing the case on to him as fact.

‘Critical report’

He did the latter and, as a result, a critical report from 2002 lay unnoticed in the files, the hearing was told.

He gave evidence on Wednesday saying he felt as though he was being made a scapegoat.

He said that he would have acted differently with hindsight, but he had acted in good faith.

He said: “I never sought to diminish my responsibility but there is a shared responsibility.

“I have been scapegoated by the Vale of Glamorgan council.”

It was a colleague who later found the relevant information, the hearing was told.

He said he been alerted to previous incidents by the teenager’s father who told him “something like this has happened before”.

He said he pulled out all the files on to the floor and found the relevant information in about 45 minutes.

Mr Swan is accused of breaching the code of practice for social care workers by allegedly allowing a client, who was a vulnerable adult, to be placed inappropriately with a family despite his previous recorded history.

Mr Swan is also accused of not reading the case file, failing to carry out an adequate assessment and not informing the carers of the risks of placing the client with the family.